Capture - Rendering Machine

ScaredOfHeightsLD

Active Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Location
Los Angeles
Hey Everyone,

I'm looking at investing some money into a computer to serve as a render machine to run capture argo. I have read their specs online and am trying to decide between a maxed out mac mini and a PC of some sort.

This ideally wants to travel in a 3 or 4 U road case so small size is preferable, hence the mac mini idea.

The rig we are designing for is roughly 60x moving lights, 150 conventionals with seachangers, a wall of nexus panels (likely on a server and might not need to be rendered) and some RGB LED Tape.

I'm curious if people out there have had experience with Capture and can advocate for either the mac or pc?

Likewise those of you who have used a PC, any particular model or specs you like?

Anything I am leaving out or missing?

Thanks!
 

danTt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Location
NY
I think you'll be better with a PC. You're going to want a (relatively beefy) dedicated graphics card, and the mac mini doesn't provide that. The rack mount bit is going to make it a bit complicated.. most companies only make servers in that form factor, and servers are not usually graphics driven. This might be something you are best either assembling yourself, or reaching out to a local computer shop to see about having something built custom.
 

Jammer

Member
Joined
May 2, 2014
Location
San Diego California
Second the PC. I've run it on a couple of different machines, Mac and PC. The Passmark GPU benchmark score seems to be the best
guideline and right now at the top of the heap is the GeForce GTX 980Ti. You can get a Mac version of the card from MacVideoCards,
but then you either run it in a 2010 Mac Pro or use a PCI extender box with Thunderbolt on any one of the newer Macs. Doesn't
make sense for most people. For the PC build I recently bought a 4U shallow depth rack case and transferred an older Dual Xeon Server
and added a GTX 680, maybe someday will drop in the newer 980Ti, but it's fine for now. A newer i7 processes, good chunk of RAM, SSD drive
and the 980Ti will be as about as good as it gets. With a PC you can also get a Motherboard that will allow 2 x 980Ti in SLI mode. You can do
that with a Mac, but it's requires some configuration and customizing along with a native Windows boot to support SLI. FWIW I have never
heard of anyone running Capture Argo on a dual GPU/ SLI configured machine, so don't really know if it would get you much for the expense.
I wouldn't go cheap on the 4U case. It's tough enough fitting a shallow depth case let alone one built to poor specifications. You can do this
in a 3U, but with 4U you can fit a standard ATX type power supply. Also, apologies if you have already seen this, but you will need at least the
basic version of Capture Argo as it sounds like you want to run 2 or more universes.